WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/410492

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Page 167 of 227

released, give back to the community, and make sure you stay out of trouble. Mentors can play a positive role in all of that." Recidivism Hard statistics confirm the thinking behind Bembury's program and how it works. Recidivism among inmates achieving college degrees is negligible, versus almost 60 percent in the general inmate population who will return to prison. But there's something else going on, as you can tell when talking to Diane Anderson, Interim Minister of Pastoral Care at the Village Church in Wellesley. "Think about the idea of going out into the world and promoting healing and justice and love," says Anderson, ideas that she makes real through her long-term involvement with prison mentoring programs such as Partakers. Sitting in Anderson's office looking out over Central Street on a sparkling, sun-lit morning, another Partaker, David Oliver, talks about his involvement. "I got interested in the idea of 'nurturing community,'" he says. "This is my third year of working with a bright, inquisitive young man who now knows that someone on the 'outside' is really paying attention. That can make a real difference." Tom Wintle, Jane Carlson's minister at First Parish Church in Weston, echoes David Oliver's sentiments. "I've always believed that lives can be turned around," he says. "That when you care for people they can be changed and that education is a redeeming experience." Redemption One more question might be asked here: Who is it that is redeemed, the mentor or the mentored? In the act of committing one's personal time to building an endur- ing relationship with a total stranger in a challenging and fraught environment, who really benefits? Completing a college degree in the best of circumstances can test the most resolute soul. But talk to a Partaker and the notion of redemption moves into the realm of shared experience. And when a prison inmate steps out of the mundane and into the life of the mind, the thought that one might foster such a miracle becomes nothing short of profound. Of this that we might partake, and thus are we transformed. For more information about PARTAKERS, visit www.partakers.org. good works "education is a redeeming experience" 166 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 David Oliver and Diane Anderson "I've always believed that lives can be turned around. That when you care for people they can be changed and that education is a redeeming experience." – To m W i n t l e , M i n i s t e r, F i r s t Pa r i s h C h u r c h i n W e s t o n P E T E R G O L D E N P E T E R G O L D E N

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